Michael Carrick insists he never contemplated leaving Manchester United this summer.
When fit, Carrick was regarded as United’s first-choice central midfielder last season, and with good reason too.
(Leaving) is not something I thought about at all. It has never been an issue.Michael Carrick
Such was his contribution to the team that they only lost one of the 17 matches he started last term.
Although Wallsend-born Carrick signed a new deal late in the Spring, the 34-year-old was linked with a move to Newcastle and Inter Milan.
But the thought of leaving Old Trafford never crossed the midfielder’s mind, it seems.
“Yes, (but) it (leaving) is not something I thought about at all,” Carrick said when asked about other teams’ interest in him over the close season.
“It has never been an issue.”
Even the addition of holding midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin did not affect Carrick’s thinking on the matter.
The former West Ham and Tottenham midfielder is adamant he was always going to stay on for a 10th year at United.
And the midfielder, who was speaking at the launch of Marathonbet as Manchester United’s Official Sports Betting Partner, has not ruled out staying on for another year either.
“At this stage, you just have to judge it year by year,” Carrick said when quizzed about whether he could carry on playing next season.
“Looking at the players who have been here in the past, that is what they have done when they reached this age.
“They have gone year-on-year and played for a long time. At the moment, I feel fine and great, it just depends how it goes.
“We have brought in some really good players this summer. There has always been that competition in the squad.
“There always has been even though people have been talking about buying a midfielder for many a year. There is always competition. That is what brings out the best in players. It has done over the years, and I’m sure it will this season.”
Given that he, along with Wayne Rooney, is the longest-serving player at Old Trafford, Carrick feels he has a duty to teach new arrivals Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian, Sergio Romero and Memphis Depay about the history of the club.
“There is a responsibility there having been here for so long and understanding the history and traditions of the club,” said Carrick, who has won the Premier League five times since joining from Tottenham.
“The responsibility is a natural progression you have to take on board. We (Rooney and I) have been here for so long.
“I was blessed with the players who were in the squad when I came, how they, whether they knew it or not, guided me in certain directions at certain times. I did that just by watching and learning.
“Hopefully, we can do something similar. It is a big ask because some of the players who have left have been legends of the club and the game. It is up to this team now to make its mark, achieve things and be successful again.”
United’s 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday was seen as a reasonable result, but Carrick feels there is much room for improvement over the rest of the season.
He said: “It was all about the result. To get the win was vital.
“We are quite happy with where we are. But there is plenty of work to do to improve.”